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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Not remembering people

Tonight, I went to Wal-Mart after the girls were asleep to grocery shop. I actually like going at that time of the night because it's so much cooler outside (it's been at least 95 here for the last week or two), not as many people shop there that time of night and I can shop by myself and have a little alone time.

So, tonight, Ella was asleep within an hour of us laying her down, and Tessa was almost asleep on the couch. I knew I needed to to go the grocery store, so off I went. As I was trying to decide between the Pampers Cruisers and the Pampers Baby Dry (Ella can no longer fit in the Swaddlers, boo hoo, I loved them and she's growing too fast), a girl speaks to me. I know I know her, but I can't figure out from where. I rack my brain to try to come up with her name and where I know her from, but I can't.

This isn't the first time it's happened either. About two weeks ago, I was grocery shopping and buying Ella's baby food. For some reason, all of her favorites are on the very bottom shelf, and I was bent over with my butt in the air when I feel someone standing behind me. I straighten up, and this man smiles at me. He asks me, "You still writing for the paper?"

Last year, I wrote a column for our local paper, and my picture was in the standing head they used with it. I told him that I wasn't, and he kept asking me questions. I stood there, nodding and answering his questions, and acting like I remembered him when I totally didn't and trying to figure out if I actually did know him or if he just thought he knew me because my picture and my column with a lot of personal details was in the paper every week.

I feel really bad that this has been happening a lot lately. I chalk it up to a couple of things. One, I'm sleep deprived. I have always been an insomniac, but now, I am waking up with Ella several times a night. When school was in session if I didn't get enough sleep the night before, I could lay down when Ella took her morning nap and sleep for a bit. With Tessa out of school now, I can't, and if I have a bad night, I just have to deal with it.

The other reason is my time in the newspaper business. I spent 10 years interviewing people and writing their stories. I was trying to estimate how many people I talked to and interviewed each year. It had to be around 500 people. If you take 500 x 10 years, I interviewed about 5,000 people.

Sometimes, it was just five minutes, talking to them long enough to get information about a church service or their baby's birth announcement. Others, it was more in-depth like the 106-year-old black man who told me what it was like to grow up in the turn-of-the-century South.
Because they talked to me, they thought they knew me. Some of them do stick out in my memory, and I will remember them forever. Some were sweet, and others were evil, like the women who called me right after I went back to work after losing Jenna. Her exact words, "I hear you had a situation, and I guess it'll take you a while to get over it."

The one thing I will not blame it on is being old. I'm only 33, I can't be old enough to be losing my memory, right? Just tell me I'm young, and I'll love you forever.

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